David Ferrard: Scottish Folk Roots & Offshoots
A homecoming Transatlantic session
This article is from 2009.
One thing you notice when you meet young David is his cheery, cherub-faced features, positively unraveled by his folklore tales of poet Burns, slavery and the Highland Clearances – oh, and he’s the youngest in a tight pub room of 20.
Born in Edinburgh – his mother is from the States, hence his half’n’half accent – and back from a folk fact-finding mission in the Appalachian mountains, the softly-spoken Ferrard sings his way through a guid Scottish traditional song, while popping out a few of his own, similarly-inspired songs.
David’s polite, monologued interludes are full of anecdotal history lessons, enough to please the odd tourist or wayward pub reveller. At times a bit of a sing-a-long-a-chorus, David encourages his audience to participate in such gems as ‘Ye Jacobites’, ‘Parcel Of Rogues’, ‘Green Grow the Rashes-O’ and ‘Peg in Awe’ – even the seagulls throw in their ugly squawks by way of an open fire-escape window.
Of his own songs, ‘Hills Of Virginia’ (about the Iraq War) and ‘The Slave’s Lament’, give a good account of his folk knowledge. Reminiscent of 50s/60s pioneers such as Pete Seeger and Ewan MacColl, Ferrard closes the show with a song (‘One Hell of a Ride’) about folk’s favourite subjects: murder and trains.
The Royal Oak, 557 2976 until 27 Aug (not 18), 1.30pm & 6.30pm £7 (£5).